New & Noted

John Woodrow Cox

Presented in partnership with The Pittsburgh Foundation

“Cox shines a light on America’s gun violence crisis through deeply personal and profoundly affecting stories of the children who live with its everlasting repercussions.”


Following his talk, John Woodrox Cox will join panelists:
Valerie Dixon – Center for Victims
Julius Boatwright – Steel Smiling
Fr. Paul Abernathy – Neighborhood Resilience Project

An urgent and intimate account of the devastating effects of gun violence on our nation’s children, and a call to action for a new way forward.

Seven-year-old Ava in South Carolina wrote a letter to Tyshaun, an eight-year-old boy from Washington, DC. She asked him to be her pen pal; Ava thought they could help each other. The kids had a tragic connection—both were traumatized by gun violence. Ava’s best friend had been killed in a shooting at her school, and Tyshaun’s father had been shot to death outside his. Ava’s and Tyshaun’s stories are extraordinary, but not unique. In the past decade, 15,000 children have been killed from gunfire, and many more irreparably harmed.

John Woodrow Cox investigates the effectiveness of gun safety reforms and efforts to manage children’s trauma in the wake of these shootings. Through deep reporting, Cox addresses how we can effect change now, and help children like Ava and Tyshaun. He explores their stories and others—a couple whose eleven-year-old son shot himself, a Republican politician fighting for gun safety laws, and the charlatans infiltrating the school safety business. Children Under Fire weaves wrenching personal stories into a critical call for our country to embrace practical reforms to save thousands of young lives.

John Woodrow Cox is a staff writer at The Washington Post. He was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing and has won Scripps Howard’s Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Storytelling, the Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, and Columbia Journalism School’s Meyer “Mike” Berger Award for human-interest reporting. He lives outside Washington, DC, with his wife, Jenn.


Children Under Fire: An American Crisis will be available for sale from Mystery Lovers Bookshop.

Protecting Our Region’s Children from Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis

For the first time in U.S. history, gun violence is now designated as the primary cause of death for children. This event is the first of three community forums hosted by The Pittsburgh Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, to raise awareness and identify actions that can be taken to protect children. Learn more about the events, and how to lend your voice to the conversation.


Funding for this program is provided by Staunton Farms Foundation and The Pittsburgh Foundation.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 6 p.m.

Masks are encouraged.


Free, with registration.
The first 100 attendees to this lecture will receive a free copy of Children Under Fire. 
Links to the livestream will be emailed to all registered for this event on the morning of November 15th. The captioned video will be remain available on our YouTube channel.
Registration may also be completed by email at or by phone at 412.622.8866.


Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


Upcoming Lectures

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JUN 20

Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30

Heather Cox Richardson

OCT 28